Bali case leads to call for compulsory travel cover

Mathew Taylor
Image caption Mathew Taylor was moved to Singapore for specialist treatment

An MP has called for insurance to be made mandatory when travelling abroad after the family of a man injured in Bali wad handed a huge medical bill.

Mathew Taylor, 30, has been in hospital in Singapore since July after suffering serious head injuries in a motorcycle crash on the island.

His care has so far cost his family, who live in Derbyshire, £172,000.

Now Andrew Bridgen, Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, is calling for a change in the rules.

Mr Bridgen said that although Mr Taylor was working as a teacher in Bali rather than taking a holiday, the case did highlight the need for Britons to organise adequate cover while abroad.

He suggested a new system could be introduced to flag up people travelling without insurance at airport check-in desks.

'Absolute tragedy'

He said: "You're not allowed to take your car abroad without adequate insurance but you are allowed to take yourself.

"Most people get away with it but obviously the case of Matthew Taylor is an absolute tragedy which highlights the risk people are taking.

"If it's mandatory, people will realise they are going against the rules by not taking it."

Mr Taylor's father Darrell said his son had decided against taking out medical insurance in Bali as it was likely to account for more than half of his monthly wages.

However the family has been spending about £2,000 a day on hospital fees and doctors in Singapore say their patient is still too ill to be flown home.

Mr Taylor said: "We're rapidly running out of money. I don't know what happens if we run out but I've got a feeling Singapore doesn't leave people to die.

"I think he should be able to make a full recovery. No-one has said he's going to die but obviously it's going to take a long time."

Mr Bridgen said a recent government campaign had helped raise awareness of the need for adequate insurance for Britons abroad but he felt more could be done.

He said he was considering an Early Day Motion or an adjournment debate on the matter to gauge the level of support among fellow MPs.

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